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TaylorMade R9 Driver Review

November 12, 2018 |

If Walter Mitty was a golf club, he would be the Taylor Made R9 driver. Designed to be the most adaptable, adjustable stick off the tee, this is the ultimate piece of golf club paraphernalia so far created for the terminal tweaker.

If you want an introduction to all the tech innovations brought to bear on the driver in the last 5 years, now you need to buy only one club to satisfy your curiosity. With the incorporation of three adjustable weights spread out across the back of the head, the chronic heel striker can shift the sweet spot of the head to make heel striking a positive benefit. Got a slice that you simply can’t master? Simply remove the shaft and adjust its rotation to overcome your pesky lack of technique.

What does all this technology add up to? For the experienced ball striker, the club can be set up fairly quickly to take advantage of the strengths the player brings to his game, but it might be the casual golfer that can really get the most mileage out of this chameleon of a big stick. Since many weekend warriors have never gone through the process of being fitted properly for clubs, the Taylor Made R9 provides the opportunity to tinker and tinker until the proper setup of the club is stumbled upon, either by random elimination of options or a more scientific process of experimentation.

The fact is, given a consistently applied swing Taylor Made claims a 75-yard wide target adjustment. That is a tremendous amount of variety, and the changes can be made with enough subtlety to find a great setup for almost any level of game. Since the average golfer may not have as much intimate knowledge of exactly how their swing influences their scorecard, it may be this demographic that stands to see the most improvement by finding the perfect setup of the R9, which otherwise would require a very expensive trial and error process of many different drivers.

For $300-$400, the Taylor Made R9 may be the ultimate game improving driver on the market. Check out our selection of TaylorMade Drivers and see if you can find the perfect stick for your game this summer.

Callaway FT-iZ

If it’s true that sex sells, Callaway has a winner. Sitting in the rack at your favorite golf retailer, the Callaway FT-iZ gives a come-hither wink to anyone that has ever even casually picked up a golf club and imagined themselves on the first tee at Oakmont.

An amalgamation of every material currently in use to manufacture drivers, the FT-iZ is a technological phenomenon. Cast titanium, cast steel, compression cured carbon fiber and formed aluminum are all incorporated to create a balled fist intended to be longer and straighter than anything Calloway has ever created. Not exactly a novel goal, but certainly one worth pursuing. Keeping all this potential energy under control is served by keeping the shaft length to a reasonable 45-inches, rather than searching for distance by simply increasing the swing arc. The shaft is a balance matched Aldila Voo Doo model, and can be selected in regular, stiff and extra stiff.

The manufacturer claims that 12% of the clubface will produce ball speeds within 2-mph of the optimal speeds possible, and independent testing seems to bear out the claim. That is a tremendous amount of forgiveness built into a club that has power on its mind.

This is not a club for the dainty swinger, however. The D4 swing weight is considerable, though the club swings a bit lighter than that, with a stout 58% of the club head’s weight carried in the face, pulling the club through the impact point.

The economy has made your dollar go less far at the grocery store, but golf club manufacturers are aware that the $800 driver of five years ago is simply going to gather dust at the pro shop today. Originally slated to be introduced at a $499 retail price, it is coming to market at a more palatable $399 retail, and that price seems to be holding in the stores.

But sitting in the rack, with its deep black finish in carbon fiber, the club is downright sultry. If the Porsche doesn’t fit your mid-life crisis budget, drive a Callaway. Check out our selection of Callaway drivers and find yourself a winner.

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